28th February: Nikko – Lake Chuzenji

At the side of Lake Chuzenji there were several flocks of waterbirds, probably hibernating and perhaps hoping for handouts from tourists. It was very cold and late in the afternoon, so they were quite still. There were more of these at Lake Kawaguchi, near Mt Fuji.

These are the rare Japanese Hollow Swans; I’m not sure of their Latin name. These are the ones that didn’t manage to fly south for the winter, to warmer destinations such as Lake Tonle Sap in Cambodia. Huge crowds of people gather in Cambodia to watch them fly in and try to keep out of their way when they land.

I would have liked to show you photos of them diving for fish but I haven’t been able to see this. I also understand that their mating rituals are something to behold. The cries they make when they bump into each other on the water can also be quite strange. They have been known to cause problems when they grow tired of flying and try to land on greenhouses.

Everything you read on the internet is true.

With the last image, it is now dark and I have just commenced on the journey back to Nikko, the lights in the distance.  If you click on the image to bring it up in a larger size, you will see curves in the road and some taillights through the trees in different places.

I did manage to take a wrong turn on the way back in that distant valley, onto a motorway leading off into the distance.  However, since there was no traffic in either direction, I managed an illegal U-turn to get back on course….

10 comments on “28th February: Nikko – Lake Chuzenji

  1. […] 28th February: Nikko – Lake Chuzenji […]


  2. justsomethingaboutanything says:

    Simply the most beautiful shots I have seen in a long time!!!


  3. Lois says:

    The light from the sky is wonderful, and then as the sequence runs through the last one is so dark and mysterious and yet inviting.


  4. Beautiful photos in an amazing dusk. You caught the atmosphere wonderfully in the photos.


    • Murray Foote says:

      Thanks very much.

      You will have noticed I’ve been looking through your Northern Norway and Svalberg posts which provide a really good feel for what might be there. I’m contemplating a trip next year to include Highlands and Western Isles, Lofoten, Spitsbergen, Aurora trip Spitsbergen/ Greenland/ Iceland, traveling around Iceland.


      • Sounds like an incredible trip you are planning. I have been to Scotland, the Lofoten Islands, Spitsbergen and Iceland. If you go to Iceland, I recommend to go to Hornstrandir – on the peninsula in the north west. It is spectacular scenery and void of people. You can walk in nature’s playground alone.

        If you are going to the Lofoten islands, you must also go to Senja. That was the highlight of my bike trip in northern Norway!


      • Murray Foote says:

        One place in Scotland I want to visit is St Kilda. It’s a group of small islands 40km west of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Inhabited for 3,000 years (a small village with one street) but deserted since 1930.

        The Aurora cruise will be landing in Isafjordur so I’m hoping there will be some zodiac landings on Hornstrandir as we come in. I’ll bear what you say in mind. I’m currently thinking in terms of hiring a 4WD camper for maximum flexibility.

        OK, I’ll definitely include Senja. I’d already noticed on the map that it looked like an interesting way to return from Lofoten.


  5. I have a blog entry on Hornstrandir in Iceland. You can get a feel of the scenery there..


  6. Murray Foote says:

    Ah, good. I’ll get to that in sequence.


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